Tag Archives: CHOP

OPINION | How the City of Seattle Used Raz Simone to Undermine 2020 Protests

by Gennette Cordova


At the height of the 2020 racial justice demonstrations following the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other victims of police violence, Seattle and its short-lived Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) was put under a microscope. A self-proclaimed leader of CHOP, local rapper Raz Simone quickly gained visibility as national media outlets made him a figurehead of the movement despite vocal opposition mainly from women. As more specifics emerge about both his sex trafficking and his involvement with Seattle police, the argument becomes stronger to support what many of us already knew: Raz’s rise to prominence was part of a larger strategic effort to discredit racial justice protests in 2020. 

Continue reading OPINION | How the City of Seattle Used Raz Simone to Undermine 2020 Protests

BREAKING: Claims in Fmr. SPD Chief Best Video Discredited by OEM the Day Before

SPD Publicly Released Video Without Clarification

by Carolyn Bick


The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.

In the late morning of June 11, 2020, shortly before 11 a.m., the Seattle Police Department (SPD) released a video of its now-former Chief Carmen Best relaying a message to officers, following the internal and public fallout of the Seattle police’s decision to abandon the East Precinct.

In that video, Best claimed that SPD had received reports of armed people patrolling the area, and that these same armed people “may be demanding payment from business owners in exchange for some of that protection. We’ve also heard that they may be demanding to see identification for people who live in the area. This is not legal.”

But about 17 hours earlier, at 6:10 p.m. on June 10, 2020, Best — along with several other high-ranking City officials, including a host of core mayoral staffers, as well as SPD Assistant Chief Thomas Mahaffey and now-interim Chief Adrian Diaz — received an updated ground intelligence report email from then-acting Dir. of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Laurel Nelson. The report specifically stated that the above claims about extortion and identification demands were untrue, per an OEM staffer’s site visit to investigate the claims.

Continue reading BREAKING: Claims in Fmr. SPD Chief Best Video Discredited by OEM the Day Before

BREAKING: Texts Show Fmr. SPD Chief Best Involved in Plan to Abandon East Precinct

by Carolyn Bick


The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.

During interviews with the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) in 2021, after her retirement, former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best told investigators she was not involved in plans to abandon the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct on June 8, 2020. But text messages obtained by the Emerald tell another story.

According to texts between Best and Assistant Police Chief Lesley Cordner, it appears that Best was in contact with former Mayor Jenny Durkan about the Seattle Police Department (SPD) removing items from the East Precinct and that she was aware, on the morning of June 8, 2020, of a plan to remove firearms, ammunition, and evidence from the building by 5 p.m. that day. (Note: The Emerald has redacted phone numbers that appeared in the above-linked text log transcript.)

This is not what Best told OPA investigators, according to the OPA’s Case Closed Summary (CCS) on the matter, and not the story she continued to tell media almost a year after the incident.

Continue reading BREAKING: Texts Show Fmr. SPD Chief Best Involved in Plan to Abandon East Precinct

City Denies Permit for Event Commemorating the Art of CHOP

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article was previously published at PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)


UPDATE: On Thursday afternoon, the ACLU of Washington and Public Defender Association sent a letter to the city attorney’s office, along with several City department leaders, calling the decision to deny CHOP Art’s permit “unconstitutional” and saying “we may need to take emergency legal action” if the city doesn’t act. They say the denial was clearly based on the content of the event itself rather than any legitimate “safety” concerns.

The City, as we reported this morning, has claimed that community members have said that any event commemorating CHOP, including an event celebrating the art of the protest, “would be disturbing or even traumatic” and that they applied a higher-than-usual safety standard because of violence that occurred during last year’s protests.

Original story follows . . .

Mark Anthony doesn’t know why the City declined his permit for an event in Cal Anderson Park after working with his group, CHOP Art, for the last eight months, but he has a theory: “I think that it got up to the mayor’s office, and I think they’re trying to say that CHOP itself is something that’s violent or negative, which isn’t true,” he said.

Continue reading City Denies Permit for Event Commemorating the Art of CHOP

The Morning Update Show — 12/18/20

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We’ll also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Thursday, Dec. 17

Today on the show:

LIVE

#SeattleSweep at Cal Anderson Update | Local & National Headlines

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 12/18/20

‘Black and Center’ Holiday Gift and Giving Guide!

by Jasmine J. Mahmoud


Before the pandemic, my two favorite places to shop for holiday gifts were Kinokuniya Seattle and Pike Place Market. At Kinokuniya, the bright, densely-packed Japanese bookstore in Uwajimaya Village, I browsed children’s books, comics, magazines, and stationery for hours. At Pike Place Market, I beelined to the Herban Farm stand, founded by Ras Levi Peynado, a Seattleite with Jamaican Roots who farms and dries his products. There, I would test-smell the fragrant seasonings, rubs, and salves, while staring at ferry boats crossing Elliott Bay, before buying gifts for family members. Among favorites were Pike Place Herbs (an all purpose seasoning), the paprika-rich Seatown Smoke (“BBQ in a jar”), and the floral Lavender Sea Salt.

Continue reading ‘Black and Center’ Holiday Gift and Giving Guide!

The Morning Update Show — 12/17/20

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We’ll also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Thursday, Dec. 17

Today on the show:

LIVE — Kevin Schofield | LIVE — Besa Gordon | Carolyn Bick — South Seattle Emerald (Tommy Le / KCSO / KCPO) | Cultural Space Agency | Seattle Metro Was Saddest in the Nation Last Month 🙁 | Seattle Protest, Seattle Sweep, Cal Anderson, Seattle Homelessness

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 12/17/20

The Morning Update Show — 12/16/20

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We’ll also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Wednesday, Dec. 16

Today on the show:

Seattle Sweep at Cal Anderson Update | LIVE — Justin Carder, Editor, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog | Renton City Council to the Homeless: No Room at The Inn — Interview with Erica C. Barnett, Editor, Publicola.com | Auburn Police Officer Who Shot Jesse Sarey Still Employed + Receiving $100K Salary | Coronavirus Update With Nikki Barron | The Cost of Police Misconduct Act | Black Founders Pitch Competition

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 12/16/20